Is the word “started” too strong? How about “popularized”? “Amplified”? “Attempted to capitalize on politically”? We can split these hairs as finely as you’d like.
Here’s what she said today about Trump’s now-famous Q&A last night, via Mediaite:
“He knew or he should have known that what that man was asking was not only way out of bounds, it was untrue,” she continued. “And he should have, from the beginning, repudiated that kind of rhetoric, that level of hatefulness in a questioner in an audience that he was appearing before. So I would call on him and call on all of the candidates to stop this descent into the kind hateful, mean-spirited, divisive rhetoric that we have seen too much of in the last months.”…
“I think it is prejudiced, I think it is discriminatory, and I think that it comes out of the unfortunate reservoir of hateful rhetoric that we have seen too much of where people are being set against one another, and that has no place in our politics,” she said.
Slate, February 25, 2008:
Today, the Drudge Report posted a big, fat headline that howled, “Clinton staffers circulate ‘dressed’ Obama.” Accompanying the headline was a picture of Obama on a diplomatic trip to Kenya in 2006, wearing some type of traditional dress of the area—complete with a turban-looking headdress…
First, the Obama campaign sent around a press release at 9:29 a.m. from campaign manager David Plouffe, in which he said the photo is “exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world.”
Then, at 10:54 a.m., Clinton’s campaign manager, Maggie Williams, pierced the quiet with her own release. “Enough,” she wrote. “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.” She goes on to say Obama is trying to “distract from the serious issues.” Note that they never refuted Drudge’s piece…
In December, the [Clinton] campaign asked two of its employees to resign after they proliferated rumors that Obama was a Muslim.
Let me remind you again, as I did this morning, that Hillary herself once hedged when asked if Obama was a Muslim, saying there was no evidence of that “as far as I know.” And let me remind you of something else that doesn’t get much play these days but was a fact of political life during the 2008 Democratic primary: Both Obama fans and Hillary fans were convinced that the other side was playing filthy racial politics at various points in the campaign. Remember when Bill Clinton compared Obama’s primary win in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson’s wins there, which O’s supporters took as an attempt to pigeonhole him as a “black candidate”? Remember when Hillary said early on in the primaries that for all of MLK’s civil rights achievements, it took LBJ to actually turn them into law? Obama called that comment “ill advised,” supposedly because it diminished King but really because it cast him in the role of an inspirational black leader who should be operating outside politics. Remember later in the campaign when Hillary argued she’d be more electable as nominee because her support was stronger among “working, hard-working Americans, white Americans”? That comment earned her the opprobrium of Media Matters staffer Oliver Willis in a post titled “Hillary White Power Clinton.” And do you remember how all of these racial accusations annoyed the living sh*t out of Hillary and her supporters, all the way up to Bill Clinton himself? Lots of liberals don’t remember. But a few, like Ryan Cooper, still do. Maybe Herself’s finger-wagging at Trump here will lead our media to take its own trip down memory lane.
When you’re done with the clip, dive into this immensely enjoyable article from Politico in which 20 big-name Democrats try and fail miserably to name one meaningful Hillary Clinton accomplishment. Barbara Boxer’s submission, no joke, is “galvanizing the Senate after the tragedy of 9/11 to rebuild the city,” as if that wouldn’t have happened without her. You want to know what Hillary’s real biggest accomplishment is? It’s not making an atrocious deal with Iran that’ll give them a nuclear weapon in 15 years like her successor did. If she was honest, that’s what she’d campaign on.